Make An Effort

Always make a total effort, 
even when the odds are against you.
Arnold Palmer

There are those who work all day. 
Those who dream all day. 
And those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfill those dreams. 
Go into the third category because there's virtually no competition. 
Steven J Ross

A World Lives In You

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, 
but at the same time you carry them with you,
in your heart, your mind, your stomach, 
because you do not just live in a world,
but a world lives in you.
Frederick Buechner

What Do You Want?

You can have everything in life that you want, 
if you will just help enough other people to get what they want. 
Zig Ziglar


Never be afraid to try something new. 
Remember, amateurs built the ark. 
Professionals built the Titanic...


Energy is the power that drives every human being. 
It is not lost by exertion but maintained by it, 
for it is a faculty of the psyche.

Germaine Greer

Where There Is No Path

Do not go where the path may lead, 
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Waldo Emerson

What Are Your Goals?

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. 
The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach. 
Benjamin Mays

You Can Never Go Wrong

As you go on in this world...
always believe in your dreams.
Keep looking forward to the future...
to all you might be.

Don't let old mistakes or misfortunes hold you down.
Learn something new every day.
Be interested in others and what they might teach you.
Believe in yourself.

So long as you are true to the strength within your own heart...

You can never go wrong.
Ashley Rice

Success Stories

The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem 
and turned it into an opportunity. 
Joseph Sugarman

Small Stones

The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. 

A Woman Under Stress...

A women under stress is not immediately concerned with finding solutions to her problems,
but rather seeks relief by expressing herself and being understood. 
John Gray


The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!

Marvin Phillips

Perseverance and Confidence

Life is not easy for any of us. 
But what of that? 
We must have perseverance and above all, confidence in ourselves. 
We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained. 
Marie Curie

Speak And Act

All speech is vain and empty unless it be accompanied by action. 

Are You Willing?

What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. 
Whether you're willing to do it, that's another matter. 
Peter Drucker

Failure And Success

When you see failures in life, never get discouraged. 
Always remember, a failure is just a test of your commitment on the road to success. 
The more failures, the more closer you are to success.

Apply And Do

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. 
Willing is not enough, we must do. 
Johann von Goethe

Go Out Fighting!

Yesterday is not ours to recover, 
but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. 
Lyndon B. Johnson


If you want the rainbow, 
you've got to put up with the rain. 
Jimmy Durante

Have A Positive Mental Attitude

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
Patricia Neal


Under certain circumstances, 
profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain


We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; 
our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

An Alphabet Story

I find Alphabet stories are a great way to write if I am short on time or ideas. They don't always go where I expect them to, or want them to, but it's about getting words down.
Give them a try, simply write the alphabet down the side of the page and write a sentence starting with each letter.
Simple. Right?
I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Another extension of this, write a sentence using the alphabet as the first letter of each word.
For some examples of this, check out Richard Brown's post on Write Words.

What Are Books?

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; 
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, 
and the most patient of teachers. 
Charles W. Eliot

Be Superior

The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. 
The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self. 
Madame De Maintenon

I have mental health problems!

I want you, yes you dear reader, to do me a favour. Just re-read that title and tell me immediately what comes in to your mind.

There's a few responses I am imagining:
If you know me well ~ Yes, I know why are you telling me this?!
If you know me a little ~ Yep, kinda guessed that!
If you know me online ~ I knew something was a little 'off' about you...
If you know academically ~ Really?
If you know me well enough ~ Nutter! 

I have an official diagnosis to my problems, no solutions though. Anyway that's irrelevant.

My focus here is the phrase 'Mental health' and how people react to that information.
So what sprang to mind for you? Are you imagining I am sat here, staring a sophistic array of geekery whilst drool slowly dribbles out of my mouth? Or rocking in my chair, muttering? Maybe shouting obscenities at passers-by?

Okay, so as not to burst your bubble, I frequently do the latter two (although less shouting, more commentating quietly), but that's just who I am. The first one is a bit more of a dream for me, well the machinery, as opposed to the drool.

I have had mental health problems for years, I know exactly where they stem from, what caused them and who to blame, etc. But, I have managed to make a relative success of my life. I have done many things that others would love to do. I have acted on stage with luvvies, walked the Corrie cobbles, sang in front of 500 people dressed as Columbia from the Rocky Horror Show (me not them, that would be weird), swam for my town, made money writing essays and dissertations for students apparently more educated than me, moved to another country less than two days after seeing a job advertised, destroyed an evil boss' pride and joy, walked out of jobs that bore me, told bosses that bully me to go forth and multiply...

The list goes on, but none of these were caused by or driven by mental health, other than to improve it.

I am not a member of Mensa, this is either due to my inability to care enough to apply, my lack of ability to answer questions at a set time, or my opinion that I.Q. cannot be measured simply by answering a selection of questions that measure how well you can answer them at any given moment. I'll leave you to decide the answer to that yourselves.

I may not have the intellect of Stephen Hawking, the creative scriptings of J.K. Rowling, or the logic of Jean Piaget, but I don't think I am completely illiterate or stupid. I may lack common sense and an inability to speak at times (quite often through the combination of alcohol and too much time)!

So why do people, especially professionals, feel the need to react to me like I am either of those or a five year old child? Speaking in a 'baby' voice, we all know the one, 'Coochy coochy coo'. I bet you read that in the voice I mean, didn't you? or explaining words to me like I wouldn't know what they were if it exploded in front of me.

Is it their fault or is something we are all cultured to do? I use the phrase 'he's got issues' or 'she is seriously mental', but I don't immediate think the person I am saying that about is stupid in an intelligence sense. It's just not the thought that springs to mind. Is that because I am accepting, because I'm a 'patient' or that I simply don't understand what is happening?

I was recently shown around a day centre by one of the workers. Showing me the places and explaining them to me. I was there about thirty minutes, but within five minutes of meeting this guy I wanted to leave. The place itself was typical of what I have come to expect of community places, they always remind me of sixties style comprehensives that the teachers have tried to cheer up and personalise to make more welcoming. Although, the students always think it's lame, or whatever the current word is. I am sure it's a great place for the people who go there, they seemed content enough. They offer activities and learning experiences, these are taught or self led. Basically treat you like a child or ignore you. I am sure that doesn't happen, but that feeling for me was just backed up by the fact the guide spoke to me like I was a child. Granted I was with a medical professional, who although lovely and knowledgeable, isn't my mother. Questions perhaps should have been directed to me, you know, the service user. 

I remember one of the operations my mother had, a knee replacement that went horrifically wrong, as a result she was in a wheelchair for a while. If I was pushing her, people would talk to me and not her, or do the baby voice thing. So it's not just a mental health problem, (pun intended) but a health problem.

All teaching about children, be it education, psychology, or childcare all involves getting down to their level, being an equal. Cesar Milan gives advice about body language to dictate discipline to misbehaving dogs. But what about adults, are we instinctively meant to know how to approach or talk to a person with disabilities, either mental or physical, permanent or temporary, or is something we should be taught? Who should teach it? Parents and teachers all reiterate the don't talk to strangers rule, but somehow we manage to make friends. We are capable of choice, please think about how you react in future.

Do Something Nice Today...

Send someone a card or text, or even phone them to tell them you are thinking of them.
Send a bouquet of flowers or pick some.
Just to say hi or thank you for your friendship or pay them a compliment.
It will brighten their day and you will share in the happiness.

Are You Shallow Or Strong?

Shallow men believe in luck. 
Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Design Your Future

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
Zig Ziglar

Redirect your energy

You've done it before and you can do it now. 

See the positive possibilities. 

Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination. 

Ralph Marston


You are what you are today because of the choices you made in the past. 
Jim Rohn

Precious Privilege

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive -- 
to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. 
Marcus Aureliu


Reading without reflection is like eating without digestion.
Edmund Burke

Worry And Work

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work. 
Robert Frost

Believe in Yourself and Remember That Anything is Possible

Believe in what makes you
feel good
And what makes you happy.
Believe in the dreams
you've always wanted
to come true,
and give them every chance to.
If you are willing to take the
opportunities you are given
and utilize the abilities
you have,
you will constantly fill
your life with special moments
and unforgettable times.
No one knows the mysteries
of life
or its ultimate meaning,
but for those who are willing
to believe in their dreams
and in themselves,
life is a precious gift
in which anything
is possible.
Dena DiIaconi

Failure Is...

Failure is a successful person's best friend. 
It is not meant to discourage you.
It is meant to teach you to do it again and better.

Mothers & Daughters

Mothers give us life; shape us into the people we become. They hold our hands and our hearts, whilst they guide us through life’s obstacles. Mothers try to protect us, keep us safe and out of harm’s way. Mothers remember their mistakes and try to prevent you making the same ones, but will be there with the tissues and emotional support when you do. They will never tell you ‘I told you so’ but will always tell you ‘I love you’.

Daughters bring us joy, laughter and unprecedented love. We try to protect them, look after them, and encourage them to become all they can. We try to motivate and guide them in becoming the women we know they can be. In doing so, we sometimes have to step back and let them make their own decisions, trusting we gave them the strength to make the right ones. It is hard to witness the tears, when you would stop the world for them. Daughters can break your heart with a word, but we will always be there for them, to help them pick up the pieces.

A Mixture Of Success And Failure

Life is like a mixture of success and failure. 
People who are really successful in life, also have experienced their share of failures. 
It is just that instead of remembering the failed times, they just concentrate on their success.
It is important to learn from your failures and move on.

Real Memories?

I often think about my childhood, memories are all I have left.

I remember certain moments in graphic detail, the sights, sounds, smells and emotions.
There are some details I have blocked, painful memories, repressed them for my sanity.
I often wonder about my memory, it is reliable, can I trust it?

Are the images I recall vividly real? Did I remember it correctly or has it been coloured by my imagination?

I can recall games with my brother, us youthful and lively, laughter piercing the bright sunshine, green grass glistening with morning dew. I am about three years old, my brother seven. I have a brilliant blue bucket trailing behind. It is shaped like a castle, but there is no sand in the garden. My brother sat on the front step, pretending to be grown up, imitating my mother and grandfather, sucking on a chocolate cigarette.

I can recall this memory as clear as the crystal glasses from my wedding day, so it must have happened.

Well, this is where I get confused, because when my mother passed away I acquired the family photographs. In one of the black bags that contained every snapshot of our childhood, in a number of photograph albums, was a familiar scene.

I recognised the bucket, the boy on the step. Now I'm wondering whether I saw this picture and that formed my memory or whether it just happened to be taken at the exact moment I recalled?